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New Action Target Guide: Comparing Bullet Traps


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Bullet trap technology has been mired in confusion, misunderstanding, and misinformation, with the various approaches to bullet containment and disposal becoming as diverse as they are numerous. This article provides accurate information and valuable education by examining various bullet trap theories, technologies, and applications in an objective manner.

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Related Keywords: bullet trap, shooting range, indoor shooting range, shooting range equiptment, Action Target

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New Action Target Guide: Comparing Bullet Traps

  1. 1. BULLET TRAP COMPARISONS (PT. 1)By:  Acon  Target
  2. 2. For  many  years,  bullet  trap  technology  has  beenmired  in  confusion,  misunderstanding,  andmisinformaon.  The  various  approaches  to  bulletcontainment  and  disposal  have  become  as  diverse  asthey  are  numerous.  The  purpose  of  this  arcle  is  toprovide  accurate  informaon  and  valuable  educaonby  examining  various  bullet  trap  theories,technologies,  and  applicaons  in  an  objecve  manner.
  3. 3. TYPES OF BULLET TRAPS•  Sand  or  Dirt  Berm•  Pit  and  Plate  Trap•  Water  and  Plate  Trap•  Venean  Blind  Trap•  The  Escalator  Trap
  4. 4. THE SAND OR DIRT BERMThe  sand  or  dirt  berm  uses  the  massof  the  berm  itself  to  stop  and  storebullets,  and  on  outdoor  ranges  canliterally  be  the  side  of  a  mountain;  onindoor  ranges  however,  some  type  ofstructure  or  barricade  is  generallyused  to  support  the  berm  and  holdback  the  sand.
  5. 5. THE SAND OR DIRT BERMConcentraons  of  lead  (called  hot  spots)can  form  behind  targets  causingsubsequent  shots  to  ricochet  and  bounceback  toward  the  shooter.Sand  and  dirt  berms  are  coming  underincreasingly  harsh  environmental  scrunydue  to  high  lead  levels  in  the  groundaround  the  trap  and  the  tendency  of  thelead  to  seep  into  surrounding  groundwater.
  6. 6. THE SAND OR DIRT BERMUlmately,  benefits  of  a  sand  berm  includelow  cost,  relavely  low  maintenance,  andthe  ability  to  use  any  kind  of  ammunion.Weaknesses  include  potenalenvironmental  hazards,  expensive  mining,and  hot  spot  ricochet.
  7. 7. THE PIT AND PLATE TRAPIn  a  pit  and  plate  trap,  a  steel  plate  is  usedto  redirect  bullets  into  a  bed  of  sand.The  steel  is  oRen  called  a  “Smash”  platebecause  the  acute  angle  causes  bullets  tosmash  into  small  pieces  on  impact  beforethey  are  scaTered  on  the  sand  below.Under  moderate  to  heavy  use,  a  thick  leadbuild-­‐up  can  develop  in  the  back  corner  ofthe  trap  causing  bullets  to  be  deflectedback  toward  the  shooter.
  8. 8. THE PIT AND PLATE TRAPThe  benefits  of  a  pit  and  plate  trap  includelower  inial  cost  and  simple  installaon.Weaknesses  include  bullet  fragmentaonon  impact,  lead  build-­‐up,  ricochet,  andhigh  maintenance.
  9. 9. THE WATER AND PLATE TRAPA  water  and  plate  trap  is  similar  to  the  pitand  plate  trap,  except  the  sand  is  replacedby  a  large  trough  of  water;  bullets  sllfragment  into  smaller  pieces  aRer  impact,but  bullet  fragments  simply  splash  into  thewater  and  sink  to  the  boTom  of  thetrough.
  10. 10. THE WATER AND PLATE TRAPLead  must  be  shoveled  or  scooped  fromthe  water  and  dispose  of  it  properly.The  water  in  the  trough  must  bereplenished  due  to  evaporaon,  and  theevaporaon  can  cause  increased  rangehumidity  and  venlaon  system  problems.The  benefits  of  a  water  and  plate  trapinclude  lower  lead  dust  levels  and  noricochet  off  other  bullets.Weaknesses  include  bullet  fragmentaonon  impact,  maintenance  of  the  water,  andthe  limitaon  to  indoor  use  only.
  11. 11. THE VENETIAN BLIND TRAPA  Venean  Blind  trap  uses  a  series  ofangled  steel  smash  plates  to  redirectbullets  to  the  back  and  boTom  of  the  trap,with  some  versions  of  this  trap  includingsmash  plates  mounted  loosely  to  helpabsorb  some  of  the  bullets’  energy.
  12. 12. THE VENETIAN BLIND TRAPTo  keep  bullet  splaTer  from  bouncing  backat  the  shooter,  rubber  curtains  are  oRenmounted  across  the  enre  face  of  the  trap.Because  rubber  is  destroyed  every  me  itsshot,  these  curtains  must  be  replaced  orpatched  frequently  to  maintain  theireffecveness.
  13. 13. THE VENETIAN BLIND TRAP  The  benefits  of  a  venean  blind  trapinclude  the  durability  of  steel,  no  sand  orgranules,  and  a  small  floor  spacerequirement.Weaknesses  include  bullet  fragmentaonon  impact,  splaTer  and  ricochet,  no  close-­‐range  shoong,  and  maintenance  of  therubber  curtains.
  14. 14. THE ESCALATOR TRAPThe  escalator  trap  is  another  old-­‐fashionedsteel  trap  that  uses  steeply  angled  smashplates  to  stop  bullets  and  direct  thefragments  to  an  open  collecon  area.
  15. 15. THE ESCALATOR TRAPSome  manufacturers  recommend  that  theimpact  plates  be  coated  with  oil  to  reducefragmentaon,  however,  this  oil  can  bewashed  away  into  the  surrounding  soil  ifthe  trap  is  not  protected  from  theelements  in  outdoor  applicaons.The  same  system  of  protecve  rubbercurtains  may  also  be  necessary  with  thistrap  due  to  the  acute  angle  of  its  steelsmash  plates.
  16. 16. THE ESCALATOR TRAPBenefits  of  an  escalator  trap  include  thedurability  of  steel  and  no  sand  or  rubbergranules.Weaknesses  include  bullet  fragmentaonon  impact,  no  close-­‐range  shoong,maintenance  of  the  rubber  curtains,  andpoor  lead  storage  and  collecon.
  17. 17. Although  bullet  trap  technology  has  been  mired  inconfusion,  misunderstanding,  and  misinformaon,that  doesnt  mean  that  bullet  trap  construcon  needsto  be  confusing  or  difficult.Acon  Targets  range  experts  can  help  any  shoongrange  get  answers  to  their  quesons,  ensuring  thatthe  range  has  a  cost-­‐effecve,  efficient,  and  -­‐  morethan  anything  -­‐  safe  bullet  trap.
  18. 18. Read  more  and  comment  by  visingwww.AconTarget.comand  click  on  “Acon  Target  Journal”- OR -Get  there  directly­‐trap-­‐comparisons-­‐pt-­‐1